Bank of England Tells Female Staff How To Dress for Success
The Bank of England had their "Dress for Success" day earlier this week and sent out a memo to female employees outlining precisely what they should and should not be wearing to work. This includes wearing heels (but no higher than 2"), always wearing make-up (even if it's just lipstick), and matching the colour of your skirt to your shoes.
Female employees were also cautioned against wearing white heels (can't have them looking like strippers), donning an abundance of earrings or rings, or carrying an overstuffed handbag:
“Look professional, not fashionable; be careful with perfume; always wear a heel of some sort — maximum 2 inches; always wear some sort of makeup — even if it’s just lipstick.” Shoes and skirt must be the same color. No-no’s include ankle chains — “professional, but not the one you want to be associated with;” white high heels; overstuffed handbags; an overload of rings, and double-pierced ears.
Now, having guidelines for proper work attire is one thing but mandating the specifics is absolutely ridiculous - unless the BOE wants to foot the bill for buying their female staff these 'uniforms' complete with the required 2" heels.
And then, of course, there's no mention of dress requirements for male employees. Enough said.
I understand that in many workplaces a dress code of some effect is necessary - whether this entails actual uniforms or a just a guideline of sorts varies. But at what point do you erase the personality of your employee with wardrobe restrictions? I once walked off a job on my first day when I was asked to sign a contract that contained a full 5 pages of dress code requirements. I felt that the job wasn't worth a potential scenario where I would be chastised for my choice of shirt or reprimanded because I had one too many rings on - and why would I want to work for employers like that anyhow?
Employees of a company should be encouraged to express themselves in whatever way they see fit, and if said employees can't be 'trusted' to select attire that is appropriate for their own work environment then I'm sure the problem goes beyond heel height.
What would you do in this situation? Would you fight for your right to dress yourself in the morning or buck up and keep your job (which you'll need to pay for those new shoes and matching skirt, of course)?